The elections of 2021 can be termed as the most important election of the millennium for Assam because it took place just after the aftermath of the violent CAA protests and the deadly pandemic COVID-19. Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Chief Minister of Assam, has emerged as the unbeatable leader who has won the hearts of the people of Assam and became an example for the entire nation. Day by day, his popularity is increasing, and the Chief Minister is growing stronger in his true identity as the most esteemed leader of the state. It seems that his secret lies in his endeavour to make Assam one of the top five states in India. Since the days when he jumped into politics, his popularity has been growing with each passing year.
What makes him succeed? How is he defying all the odds? Why can nothing impact his popularity? These are the questions doing rounds in many of the discussions that are going on today.
Dr Sarma has surprised the political analysts and opposition leaders who had taken him lightly and underestimated his popularity. One can closely look into Dr Sarma's political journey from student leader till he became the Chief Minister. To ascertain the secret behind his success, we have to understand his style of functioning. There is consistency in everything. Be it his attitude, activities or behaviour in visualising, Assam reaches the top. Dr Sarma has been consistent with his working style and stern authority from his days as a minister. Assam has always been confident that he's a taskmaster. He will get the job done. The opposition has failed miserably in maligning him. Now, as a no-nonsense Chief Minister, he has never given refuge with corruption in any ministry or the administration and never excused those who had the slightest touch of dishonesty.
There is another factor responsible for his popularity, people-centric policies and an agenda of development. From his first day as the Chief Minister, he has been giving importance to the development of the state and various people-centric programs for solving problems like poverty, illiteracy, inequality, unemployment reforms in education, administration, economic relief, safeguarding the cultural heritage and ethnicity of the state and contribute to the global campaign against carbon emission. These reforms will strengthen the social infrastructure in the state.
With the start of the term as the Chief Minister, the thrust was on the vaccination of the population, peace talks with insurgent groups, minimising human trafficking, drug annihilation and cattle smuggling. People started to feel the change in the process of governance in the state.
Bringing NFLB to the mainstream was a great success, along with the Karbi Anglong agreement. The decision to sign MoU with the microfinance companies was a historic step to resolve the financial difficulties of the distressed woman borrowers. To improve the quality of higher education, a budgetary allocation of 2612.80 crores and a budgetary allocation of 9389.54 set a new benchmark.
Implementing the NEP from April 2022 is set for a massive overall in the state's education sector. To boost the infrastructure of the state, the government allocated a fund of 988.92 crores. Assam faces continuous natural disasters in the form of flood and erosion, with a budgetary allocation of 893.56 crore, which covers 401 schemes for flood and erosion management and 1019 anti-erosion schemes the government has prepared itself to save Assam from continuous disasters.
Assam will take a giant leap towards ensuring green fields with a budgetary allocation of 1245.85 crores and connecting Assam through superlative road infrastructure. The government has allocated a budget of 8583.37 crores. The government is determined to achieve the mega target of the Har Ghar Jal campaign of the Prime Minister. The government has started to deliver on the promise of 1 Lakh jobs. The entire state machinery is in mission mode to deliver and achieve in every sector, be it health education, infrastructure, safety, security, social equality, etc. Dr Sarma's government has identified priority work areas and has proposed doorstep delivery of government services.
Dr Sarma has taken a go-getter attitude towards his ministers. They have been given the responsibility to develop the state. A weekly or monthly review of the developmental works will determine the position where the state's development has reached. The Mantra of the Chief Minister seems to be Timely Teamwork, Transparency and Technology to achieve Transformation. This is a pragmatic way to deal with the issues the state is facing. All these have proved that he is the invincible leader of the state. Not only Assam, but the country is proud to have a leader like Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma.
(The writer is the Vice-President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Assam Pradesh)